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So you’re coming to New Orleans for PILMMA’s Summit. Well, you’re in luck as I’m about to dish out my must see, do, visit list while in New Orleans, from someone born and raised in this great city.
First up, you’re lucky to have Summit at a hotel in arguably one of the most interesting and unique neighborhoods in the U.S. The French Quarter is an incomparable experience due to its history, culture, architecture and amenities. Take at least a few minutes to tour through the Quarter and soak up the atmosphere and vibe, hit Jackson Square to see St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest congregation in Louisiana (1718). While walking, here are some of my favorite places to duck into: M.S. Rau, an amazing antique store packed with out of this world items. If you’re into armaments and/or history, step into Cohen & Sons on Royal for quite a treat. Given New Orleans’ role in the War of 1812 and Civil War, there is no shortage of history and artifacts in this store.
If I had limited time and could only dine at a few places, here is my short list. Breakfast – Two places come to mind, both are quick and easy, and check the box for fun, must do while in NOLA. Stanley is a popular breakfast/lunch spot in Jackson Square that serves traditional favorites as well as some unique South LA plates. My go-to dish is the Breaux Bridge Benedict (with Boudin). Or hit Cafe Du Monde to get the quintessential breakfast (or late night snack), the Beignet.
Lunch – I would skip lunch to save room for my favorite dinner spots. But, if you must fuel up mid-day, go to the small Italian market Central Grocery for one of their Muffuletta’s. Don’t order a whole one unless you bring along a few friends.
Dinner – Time to get serious. I have a few favorites in or near the Quarter and you won’t go wrong with any of them. First up is Cochon in the Warehouse District (very short Uber ride from the hotel). Usually my wife and I share small plates or a boucherie plate. If I’m really hungry, it’s Rabbit & Dumplings. Craving something more coastal? G.W. Fins is the place you need to hit and it will blow your socks off. Located almost around the corner from the Summit hotel, this restaurant has a deep seafood menu and they know now to cook! If you want hit an old school New Orleans favorite, it’s a coin-toss between Antoine’s and Arnaud’s. The atmosphere is second to none, their dishes are perfect and old-world charm makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Before I move on to everyone’s favorite topic, I want to explain something about New Orleans restaurants. The food here is amazing. While eating lunch, we talk about where we’ll eat dinner. Cooking next level dishes and flavors is part of our soul. Go just about anywhere in this city and you’ll find menus and dishes that will force you to redefine your definition of great food. The neighborhood restaurants can challenge top ranked establishments in any city in America. So if someone tells you to venture out to try Dooky Chase or Gabrielle, don’t think twice.
Can’t have a list of things to do while in New Orleans without this section! After you’ve stuffed your belly, and before you head back to the Summit hotel, stop into the Carousel Bar for a nightcap. Arguably the most interesting in the country, this bar actually spins (and not due to the drink in your hand), completing a full rotation every 15 minutes. Well worth seeing in person, and they make some mean beverages with great live music too. You’re staying at the Ritz-Carlton, so the Davenport Lounge is an easy must visit. While out and about during the day, hit the Sazerac House for tours, exhibits and tastings, with an emphasis on the famed drink created right here in NOLA. Dare you venture outside of the downtown area, and are seeking great local music, hit Tipitina’s or Maple Leaf Bar. Establishments on Frenchmen Street also host world renown musical talent every night. Chances are you’ll stumble onto some of the great local bands that make New Orleans the major music hub that it is.
Now for the talk. New Orleans is no different than any other big city. We have crime and issues that we’re working hard to solve. With that in mind, a few safety tips to keep in mind. Nothing good happens on Bourbon St. in the wee-hours of the morning. Hit Bourbon early, have fun, then peel off to another hotspot to settle in. Just like anywhere, always be aware of your surroundings and travel in groups.
And if someone wants to bet you they can guess where you got your shoes, don’t fall for it. (You got your shoes on your feet!)
New Orleans was officially settled in 1718 (304 years ago), making it terribly difficult to list all the interesting things to see, do, eat, drink in a blog. If you want to learn more about New Orleans, or how Morgan & Co.’s marketing services grow law firms, come see us at booth #1 & 2 and we’ll chew your ear off.